Verbier

This weekend we were up in Verbier for a ski trip with Andrew’s client audit team. We were a group of 14 for the weekend and it was great to get to hang out with everyone. You may recall we came to Verbier last year with Andrew’s parents (see post) and we also came on my birthday our first week living in Switzerland (see post).

Accommodation – Hôtel de la Poste: Our co-worker selected the spot on behalf of the group. It was centrally located in the village, with the ability to walk pretty much everywhere within five minutes. It was not an upscale hotel by any means and needed some modern touch-ups in some areas, but there was a good breakfast, great views from the rooms, and had all of the amenities you would expect in a 3-star hotel, including an indoor pool and an outdoor garden that would be great to enjoy in the Summer.

Eats: Again, our co-workers made the selections on behalf of the group but they know the village very well and picked great spots. We had lunch on the mountain on Saturday at Le Dahu and dinner at L’Écurie. We did an après ski at the W hotel bar in the afternoon.

My croute au fromage at lunch at Le Dahu. Not a light meal but so good.
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My café gourmand Saturday evening after dinner. A popular, local dessert option at many restaurants. It is typically an after-dinner coffee (or espresso) accompanied by a sampling of several desserts. It’s the best! Here I had a lemon tart, chocolate cake, vanilla custard, apple tart and house-made strawberry ice cream. 

Skiing: Unfortunately the snow situation has not improved much since my last post. It has been warm and limited snow has fallen lately up in the Alps. We got up on the mountain early in the morning to enjoy the snow first thing while it was still good (and it was for the first few hours) but come lunch time it was too warm and the snow was kiiiind of turning to slush. For the lack of good snow, we had a great morning skiing up on the higher elevation pistes and taking in the view.

Andrew on the right with some of our co-workers
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View from the top of Mont Fort to the ‘Grand Désert’ glacier. You can see ski tracks going down the glacier from Mount Rosablanche. All of this terrain is completely off-piste and accessed primarily via helicopter. You would definitely need to know where you’re going or have a guide to go that way. 
View from Mont Fort looking down on the piste just before I skied down. So many moguls for that first bit until I reached the groomed part of the run – it was a leg workout!
Looking up at Mont Fort. If you look closely you can see the piste that I skied down (Andrew skied down with the partners a few times while I went on my own for a little while since I’m a slower skier). On the left the little red dot is the cable car you take to go up to the top of Mont Fort to ski down. 
Some of the group at our après ski at the W hotel after our day on the slopes

Life Update:

I figure it’s a good point to update on what’s happening in our life here in Switzerland. I have been posting plenty to describe our weekend adventuring this winter to various ski destinations, but I have not provided much information to be able to answer the questions: Are you staying? When do you go back to the U.S.?  So, while I may have sort of alluded to this, I can say our plan is that we are not going to extend our contract in Switzerland. After our two years are up, we’re going back to San Francisco. We were fortunate to be offered a one-year extension, however, due to many factors and so much time deliberating pros and cons, we feel we made the right choice for us. Our last day of work in Switzerland is 30 June, 2017.

We have a lot going on in the planning stages right now (an excel spreadsheet on steroids, like the good little accountants we are). We have a few key points pending before it all comes together enough to divulge {what we think is} our sweet plan, but so far I can share a few details.

I don’t know if you would know these specifics, but as a reminder Andrew is on a global mobility program with KPMG here in Lausanne (kind of “on loan” to KPMG Switzerland from KPMG San Francisco) and I am a locally hired employee on a two year contract. Upon our return to SF, Andrew is returning to KPMG San Francisco to the audit practice and I am proud to announce that I have officially accepted an offer to join the KPMG SF Accounting Advisory Services group, with both of us starting September 5. This provides us two full months between work to travel, see family and …. oh yea … move internationally and re-establish our life in SF. No big deal.

As you can imagine, there is so much to plan. Similar to 2 years ago when we were figuring out what it meant to move our life to Switzerland, now we need to figure out how to reverse this whole thing. Among many logistical and administrative challenges, the biggest one we are currently dealing with is ending our apartment lease early. There are some specific laws in our canton of Vaud regarding when and how you may leave an apartment lease, and this results in a requirement for us to find a replacement tenant starting the date we want to exit the apartment (or else we’re on the hook for 3 months rent until the lease can be officially cancelled on October 1st). I’m sure it will all work out, but for now that is a bit of a difficult situation and we’re focusing on doing our best to find a replacement.

Until our departure, there is plenty going on to keep my blog filled with fun stuff. Andrew’s family is coming to catch the tail end of the ski season in Zermatt in April, his aunt and uncle are coming for a few days in May to see the Suisse Romande, we have a weekend trip to Copenhagen, a trip to Provence and we are making sure we see as much of Switzerland as possible before we say goodbye to this beautiful country. As always, keeping things interesting here in Switzerland. Keep reading and I’ll keep you posted 🙂

 

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